Bengaluru: Reflecting strains in the JD(S)-Congress coalition government in Karnataka, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy has said he was "not happy" being in the top post and was swallowing the pain like 'Vishakantha' (Lord Shiva), who drank poison.
The Congress and the JD(S) had bitterly fought against each other for the May 12 Assembly polls, but joined hands to form the government as the election threw up a hung verdict.
"You are all happy that your elder or younger brother has become the chief minister, but I am not happy," an emotional Kumaraswamy said while addressing JD(S) workers at a function held by the party to felicitate him here on Saturday.
"I'm swallowing the pain like Vishakantha (Lord Shiva who drank poison to save the world)," he said.
On seeing the chief minister wiping tears, the crowd shouted, "We are with you."
Kumaraswamy said that ahead of the state polls, he had asked the people to make him the chief minister to bring in a pro-people government that would solve the issues of the farmers, the poor and the needy, "but they did not show their trust in me".
He said the people showered him with love and affection when he travelled across the state, but while voting forgot his party and candidates.
Deputy Chief Minister and Congress leader G Parameshwara, however, sought to play down Kumaraswamy's statement.
"How can he say that...he must be definitely happy. A chief minister has to be happy always. If he is happy, we will all be happy," he told reporters here on Sunday.
Kumaraswamy has been on a rocky road since assuming charge on May 23 as the head of the coalition government, confronting wrangling over portfolio allocation and presentation of budget.
Presenting his government's first budget on July 5, Kumaraswamy, who also holds the finance portfolio, unveiled a Rs 34,000 crore farm loan waiver, and subsequently announced an additional crop loan waiver of Rs 10,700 crore from cooperative banks.
However, his budget came under attack from within the coalition with few senior Congress MLAs, including former minister H K Patil, writing to him, demanding programmes for the minority community and also the northern region of the state.
Recently, former chief minister Siddaramaiah, who is also the head of the Congress-JD(S) coordination committee, in a letter to Kumaraswamy, had pressed for withdrawing the decision on petrol and diesel price hike and reduction in the supply of rice under the Anna Bhagya scheme, announced in the budget.